The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning destination for exploring scenic landscapes, cycling routes, and walking trails. This could be the perfect place to take your Easicampers Preston motorhome. Here are some detailed recommendations for places to visit and activities in the area:
- Weardale Valley: Take a scenic drive through Weardale Valley, a picturesque dale known for its charming villages, meandering River Wear, and rolling hills. Enjoy the scenic beauty as you pass through villages like Stanhope, Wolsingham, and Middleton-in-Teesdale.
- Hartside Pass: Take a drive along Hartside Pass, a scenic road that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. This winding route takes you up to Hartside Summit, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas across the Pennines and beyond.
- High Force to Alston: Embark on a picturesque drive from High Force, one of England’s highest waterfalls, to the historic market town of Alston. The road winds through charming villages, rolling hills, and offers glimpses of the stunning landscape of the AONB.
- C2C (Coast-to-Coast): The Coast-to-Coast cycle route is a classic choice that takes you from the west coast to the east coast of England. The North Pennines section offers stunning landscapes, including the beautiful reservoirs at Cow Green and Balderhead, picturesque villages like Middleton-in-Teesdale, and the challenging climbs of Yad Moss. For a challenging ride, consider the C2C route via Stanhope. This variant takes you through the heart of the AONB, passing through scenic landscapes, including the charming market town of Stanhope and the remote moorlands..
- Waskerley Way: Cycle along the Waskerley Way, a former railway line that has been converted into a traffic-free path. This peaceful route takes you through the scenic landscapes of the Derwent Valley, passing through wooded areas, open moorland, and crossing impressive viaducts.
- Hadrian’s Wall Path: Explore a section of the famous Hadrian’s Wall Path, a long-distance trail that follows the route of the ancient Roman wall. Experience the rich history and stunning landscapes as you walk along the rugged terrain of the North Pennines section.
- Teesdale Way: Discover the natural beauty of Teesdale by walking a section of the Teesdale Way. This trail follows the course of the River Tees, taking you through picturesque countryside, woodlands, and past impressive waterfalls, including High Force and Cauldron Snout
- .Pennine Way: Explore a section of the renowned Pennine Way, which runs through the North Pennines AONB. Choose a segment that suits your ability and interests, and experience the rugged beauty of the region. Highlights include High Cup Nick, Cauldron Snout, and the dramatic landscapes of the North Pennines.
- High Force Waterfall: Take a short walk to High Force, one of England’s most impressive waterfalls. Enjoy the dramatic views as the River Tees cascades over the waterfall. You can continue your walk along the riverside, taking in the scenic beauty of the Upper Teesdale.
- Derwent Reservoir Circular Walk: Discover the beautiful scenery around Derwent Reservoir with a circular walk. This route takes you along the reservoir’s shoreline, offering tranquil views of the water and the surrounding moorland.
Nature Reserves and Parks:
- Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve: Explore one of England’s most important upland nature reserves. The reserve is home to a variety of rare and protected species, including breeding waders, ring ouzels, and the iconic black grouse. Walk along the nature trails, admire the unique flora and fauna, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding moorland.
- Allen Banks and Staward Gorge: Discover this picturesque woodland and gorge along the River Allen. Enjoy walking trails that wind through ancient trees, along the riverbank, and past impressive cascades and waterfalls. The area is particularly beautiful in spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
- Hury Reservoir and Grassholme Reservoir: Take a leisurely walk around Hury Reservoir or Grassholme Reservoir. These peaceful reservoirs are surrounded by beautiful landscapes and offer opportunities for wildlife spotting and enjoying tranquil views.
- Hamsterley Forest: Explore the expansive Hamsterley Forest, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Walk or cycle through the woodland trails, enjoy picnic spots, and marvel at the diverse wildlife. The forest also offers designated mountain biking trails for those seeking a more adventurous ride.
- High Cup Nick: Embark on a hike to High Cup Nick, a spectacular U-shaped valley carved by glaciers. This geological marvel offers awe-inspiring views of the surrounding countryside and is often described as a “miniature Grand Canyon.”
- RSPB Geltsdale: Visit the RSPB Geltsdale nature reserve, a haven for birdwatchers. Take a leisurely walk through the reserve’s moorland and woodlands, spotting a variety of bird species, including black grouse, golden plover, and merlin.
These are just a few highlights of the North Pennines AONB. For more detailed information, consider visiting local information centres or the North Pennines AONB Partnership website, which provides up-to-date information, trail maps, and recommendations based on your preferences. Enjoy your motorhome adventure in the North Pennines, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region!
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